Strategy and corporate objectives

The complex challenges facing society are summarised by the United Nations’ (UN) 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs).

These 17 goals form the core of the 2030 sustainable development agenda agreed by the UN in 2015 to achieve a socially, ecologically and economically sustainable world.

An analysis among stakeholders showed that we can contribute specifically to 11 of the 17 goals. We formulated four corporate objectives with which we aim to increase our impact on these material goals.

Objective 1: Social value in projects

Our first objective is to add value in projects relating to water, infrastructure, the environment and construction. The departure point here is the UN’s 17 SDGs.

Based on a materiality analysis in 2016, we consulted with internal and external stakeholders to investigate how Witteveen+Bos can maximise its contribution to the 17 SDGs. In 2017, all our business lines identified which of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) they could most contribute to in their projects and with their knowledge. In the coming years, we plan to assess all completed projects using a so-called ‘SDG Impact Tool’ developed internally at Witteveen+Bos. This enables us to increase our current impact.

As SDGs focus on developing countries, Witteveen+Bos translated the SDGs into ‘hot topics’ relevant in all our projects. We also developed seven sustainable design principles (SDPs), ensuring maximum contribution to these social goals in each project. These SDPs are: designing with nature, flexible design, circular design, multifunctional design, participatory design, social design and Trias (use of energy and raw materials is limited and optimised). These SDPs are part of our Quality System, which is based on the most recent ISO 9001 and SCC standards.

Objective 2: Talent development

Our second objective is based on the second part of our mission: we want to provide a platform for our staff to achieve their ambitions and develop their talents. We aim to be a good employer by promoting diversity and maximising employee talent development.

Our corporate culture of trust and entrepreneurship aims to ensure good in-company relationships and care for each other. We also ensure that employees gain optimal satisfaction from their work and that we have sufficient in-house talent for career development and promotion, for example to management, professional authority or commercial positions.

Finally, we contribute to high-quality technical education and encourage young people to study technical subjects.

Objective 3: Sustainable business operations

We need professional IT systems, comfortable business premises and effective corporate processes to realise our mission. Sustainable business operations was defined as our third objective. This means that our departments provide professional support to the business lines and offices, with a view to maximum value creation. Ensuring that our mobility is more sustainable, reducing our carbon emissions and promoting corporate social responsibility in the supply chain are other key pillars.

Objective 4: Financial value

Realising healthy financial results is essential for the company’s long-term continuity. Good financial results are necessary to ensure sufficient scope for innovation and other new developments, and to invest in people. We therefore aim to realise a healthy annual net profit margin of at least 8% and an annual workforce and revenue growth of 3 to 5%.

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